GIA Discovers Synthetic Diamond Fraud with Broad Implications

Retail and Consumer Confidence
17/11/2017 17:32

The latest fraudulent twist on the synthetic diamond landscape has profound implications for the efforts to keep natural and synthetic diamonds separate, if the incident in question is not an isolated one. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) recently recieved a round brilliant cut diamond (image, left) submitted for an updated diamond grading report. Its girdle was inscribed with an actual GIA report number (image, right), identifying the stone as a natural, untreated diamond. After testing, however, it turned out that the newly submitted diamond was an HPHT-grown synthetic diamond. In other words, an inscription number belonging to a natural diamond was forged onto a synthetic. This, needless to say, is an issue.

The older report was for a natural, untreated diamond and contained the following grading information: 1.74 ct, round brilliant cut, D color, Excellent cut grade, and VVS1 clarity. Upon grading, the new submission was described as a 1.76 ct round brilliant cut with F color, Excellent cut grade, and VS1 clarity. GIA's screening processes determined that the newly submitted sample needed additional testing to determine its origin. "Aside from the observed discrepancies in weight (1.74 vs. 1.76 ct), color (D vs. F), and clarity (VVS1 vs. VS1), FTIR spectra clearly showed that these were not the same diamond," write authors Christopher M. Breeding and Troy Ardon. 

"While most synthetic diamonds that come to the laboratory are properly disclosed, some are submitted out of concern that a stone presented as natural might be synthetic. Rarely do we encounter the type of blatant fraud described here. It is important for the industry and public to exercise caution, because these types of misleading practices do occur."